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de Lancellotti Family Vineyards - A Family Thing

by Tami Parr

Every bottle of wine tells a story: a tale of the land, the grapes, the weather and the people who made it. If you were to 'read' a bottle of wine from deLancellotti Family vineyards, you'd come to understand the evolution of a family's deep commitment to making great wine.

The story of de Lancellotti Family Vineyards starts at Bergstrom Winery. John and Karen Bergstrom moved to Dundee and started Bergstrom in the late 1990s. Son Josh learned winemaking in France and eventually became the family winemaker. Daughter Kendall, a real estate developer, along with husband Paul deLancellotti, were (and remain) partners in the Bergstrom family wine business, having contributed extensive time and energy to its success, particularly in the early years.

In 1998, Paul and Kendall purchased property in the area near Chehalem Mountain on well-known Calkins Lane, home to a number of outstanding Oregon wineries including Adelsheim. There they planted a fledgling vineyard that initially produced grapes destined for Bergstrom wines, but have since become the foundation for wines bearing their own label - deLancellotti Family Vineyards.

Buying the vineyard property marked the beginning of a transition for Paul, who had been contemplating a career change for some time. " I'd been talking about leaving my sales job for years, because I traveled three weeks out of every month." He finally took the plunge two years ago, and now works full time growing the deLancellotti Family Vineyards operation. "I'm busier now than I ever was before," he'll tell you, though he's clearly thrilled to be this kind of busy.

Above, Paul, Kendall, and their children

For Paul and Kendall deLancellotti, starting their own winemaking operation was a natural progression beyond the Bergstrom fold. "Our winery is an evolution of family and an evolution of a business. I think that the wine industry is always changing, and if you don't look outside of it you can stagnate," says Paul. DeLancellotti wines are made in the Bergstrom facility, so it's still all in the family for this close knit winemaking clan.

One hallmark of deLancellotti Family Vineyards is their commitment to stewardship of the land. In 2004, they received Biodynamic certification for the 27 acre vineyard. Certification is a complex process involving a commitment to the land and to the cycles of nature, as well as to strictly regulated winemaking practices. Both the Bergstrom and deLancellotti Family Vineyards operations were the first two vineyards in the Willamette Valley to be certified Biodynamic.

Using France's great Burgundies as his benchmark, Paul deLancellotti aims to bring subtlety and elegance to his signature Pinot Noirs. "I want to make an elegant style wine, but also a style that shows off the great fruit characteristics that this soil is capable of." Combining Pinot Grapes with Pommard, he's creating great red wines that age gracefully. deLancellotti enthusiasts should look for an Estate Chardonnay in the coming years as the family's Chardonnay grapes come on line.

2007 Vintage Tasting Notes

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 91 Points: The 2007 Pinot Noir Estate is medium ruby-colored with an expressive bouquet of smoke, minerals, damp earth, spice box, cherry, and raspberry. Moderately structured on the palate with excellent depth and savory fruit, this lengthy, substantial Pinot will evolve for 2-3 years and drink well from 2011 to 2019. - Jay Miller

The 2007 deLancellotti Family Vineyard Pinot Noir has massive and vibrant aromas of red cherry, ripe black raspberry, red cherry candies, licorice and an intense spice component with undertones of cinnamon, vanilla, white pepper and although the fruit expression at this point is super intense, there is a slight hint of mushroom and forest floor in the background this wine is medium in body yet full throttle in intensity and promise showing off lovely high-toned red fruit and candy flavors in the mouth with mouthwatering acidity. Great spice flavors and fine-grained dusty tannins.

The 2007 deLancellotti Pinot Noir shows promise that will not only drink well young but will age gracefully for the next 15 years into a stunning wine of great complexity.

Paul de Lancellotti is fanatical about Biodynamic farming. The de Lancellotti Vineyard is Demeter-certified Biodynamic. According to Paul, his Pinot captures the essence of the vineyard.

2006 Vintage Tasting Notes

The 2006 De Lancellotti Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Estate received 92 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2006 Pinot Noir Estate was aged for 18 months in barrel, 6 months longer than is typical. Medium/dark ruby-colored, it delivers an enticingly spicy perfume accompanied by notes of violets, black cherry, and black raspberry. This leads to a silky-textured wine with layers of savory fruit, excellent depth and concentration, and a long, pure finish. Drink this outstanding effort over the next 8-10 years. "

2006 de Lancellotti Family Vineyards Pinot noir is exceptional. It's not shy, with heady aromas of pure cherry perfume with vanilla bean and violet accents. The flavors hit you with sappy fruit in spades as layers of marionberry and blackberry pie dance with black cherry creme and hints of truffle. An uplifting juiciness appears toward the finish, complementing the nicely-integrated oak and rich fruit.

There's so much supple fruit to like in the 06 de Lancellotti Pinot. Extended barrel aging--18 months--plus four months in the bottle allowed for a silkier texture upon release.

Only six barrels (150 cases) were made. The 2006 is a blend of four barrels of Pommard clone, and two barrels of Dijon clone 115.

Paul de Lancellotti is fanatical about Biodynamic farming. The de Lancellotti Vineyard is Demeter-certified Biodynamic. According to Paul, his Pinot captures the essence of the vineyard. The wine is a collaboration between Paul and his brother-in-law, Josh Bergstrom.

2005 Vintage Tasting Notes

Previous vintage, 2005 tasting notes: Lovely, pure Pinot noir aromas of brambly black fruits and violets, with hints of vanilla bean. Silky yet juicy, the black berries and black cherries burst in your mouth, while the sweet fruit hangs beautifully on the mid-palate and reappears on the lengthy finish and mingles with subtle earth and bit of tarragon and white pepper.

This is most delicate wine we've tasted from Josh Bergstrom and we love it. A fascinating and subtle Pinot that shows a different side of the de Lancelotti Vineyard.

Winery Tasting Notes
Intense violet to ruby in color with red hues. Opulent aromas of ripe black cherry and black raspberry jam. Sweet spices of licorice and vanilla. This wine features a generous and rich mouth feel with highly concentrated black fruits and a subtle blue berry note. Farm certified Biodynamic, this is a wine of depth and intrigue and one which will continue to please for many years to come.

(Some images copyright 2007 Andrea Johnson)

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